Thursday 8th December 2011 – Arrive in Mumbai

Good flight over it went really quickly and landed at Mumbai on time, got off the plane and followed the crowd to passport control. How busy was that, joined a long snaking queue that must have taken a good 3/4 of an hour, once you’ve done that you then join another queue in front of one of about thirty passport control men, was starting to get a bit anxious about my bike now, needn’t have worried though! Got to baggage reclaim and there was no sign of anything but after a short while cases started to appear, my bag came along pretty quickly, which then just left me to worry about my bike. My bag and everybody’s case was soaking, it was raining pretty hard in Turkey, apparently I heard a woman say that she saw them all just sitting next to the plane not covered at all! That really knocked my confidence, surely they wouldn’t leave a cardboard box out in the rain, would they? But why was it taking so long to come out, maybe it had got wet and all the bits of the bike had fallen out and I’d be missing a wheel or the pedals would be gone, I kept asking about it and kept being told it will come out soon! Eventually the conveyor belt stopped and from behind the plastic screen I saw a box being pushed out, it was my bike and it was soaked but luckily the box was just about holding together and it looked as if nothing could have fallen out! The 3 reals of tape that I used to wrap the box paid off as it was this that was holding it all together.

Got a taxi to the hotel, what a journey that was, the bike was tied to the roof and he drove like a bat out of hell! I did learn 2 things about driving in India, traffic lights are completely ignored and they don’t even slow down when there red! Speed bumps are to be ignored also, the faster you take the better! I hit my head quite a few times in the taxi and hurt my back, I’m surprised the bike stayed on the roof, after 40 bone breaking head bashing minutes we arrived at the hotel and surprisingly so did the bike, I did wonder if there was any damage to the bike it would have happened in the taxi not in the plane!

By the time the bike had been man handled into the hotel and up to my room the box had given up and was falling to pieces but it had done it’s job.

Breakfast was now being served, so had some curry for breakfast and an hours sleep then put the bike back together which was surprisingly easy, whether it stays together is a different story!

I spent the afternoon playing the tourist.

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